The Warren branch of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad Company traverses the county from east to west, almost through the center, the stations at convenient distances affording quick communication and transportation with the outside world. The road connects with the main line at Trippe, in Desha County, bringing all parts of the county but a day’s run from Little Rock, and less than half a day from the Mississippi River. In the northeaster corner of the county the main line of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad is situated for a distance of five miles within these limits. The Saline River, skirting along the western boundary, furnishes river transportation direct to New Orleans, as does Bayou Bartholomew, the eastern tier of townships. The highways are kept in good repair, and with bridges over the streams, high water does not interfere with traffic.

The judicial affairs of the county are ably provided for by circuit, county and probate courts. The circuit court is held on the third Monday in February and August, two weeks’ term. The judge of this circuit is C. D. Wood, who resides at Monticello. He was elected September 6, 1886, and the term of office expires October 380, 1890. The prosecuting attorney, R. C. Fuller, whose residence is at Princeton, was elected September 3, 1888; his term also expires October 30, 1890. The present resident attorneys of Drew County include such well-known citizens as W. T. Wells and J. G. Williams. W. F. Slemmons, z. t. Wood and James R. Cotham, H. W. Wells, S. J. Mathews and R. L. Crenshaw. W. M. Harrison, J. C. Barrow, W. S. McCain and J. G. Taylor, who have achieved considerable State notoriety, were at different times members of this bar.

The circuit judges for this circuit, preceding Judge Wood, have been W. H. Field, W. H. Sutton, Josiah Gould, John C. Murray, T. F. Sorrels, John C. Murray, J. F. Lowery, W. H. Harrison, H. P. Morse, D. W. Carroll, T. F. Sorrels and J. M. Bradley. The office of prosecuting attorney has been filled by Solon B. Jones, t. F. Sorrels, W. P. Grace, S. F. Arnett, D. W. Carroll, C. C. Godden, W. F. Slemmons, J. McL, Barton, H. Wood and M. L. Hawkins, the immediate predecessor of Mr. Fuller.

The early records of the county court will always be of considerable local interest. Among other items, the following are presented:
Monday, March 22, 1847, the first county court met at the house of A. M. Rawles. Present, the Hon. W. H. Wells, presiding judge; Thomas S. Newman and C. L. Reynolds, associate justices. The county officials newly elected filed their bonds and constables and patrols for the several townships were appointed. The first claim to be presented against the county was one by Isaiah Halcomb, for $3, which was allowed, and a warrant ordered in the session of court road overseers were appointed, and Jesse Newton was granted a license to retail spirituous and vinous liquors. Judges to hold elections in the several townships
were appointed as follows: George Dill, Jesse Whitaker and John Jones, in Marion Township; William Lucas, J. Heard and David C. Smith, in Bartholomew Township; David Adams, R. A. Thompson and J. P. Fisher, in Debastrop Township; James Arnett, J. Sackville and William Sanders, in Smith Township; A. M. Rowles, William B. Daniels and James Bussey, in White Township; J. C. Cabeer, James Wheeler and Liviton C. Dougherty, in Osceola Township. At the April term, 1847, a new township, called Goodland, was created. Court ordered that a tax of one-eighth of one per cent be levied on the value of all taxable property, and 50 cents on each white poll, for county revenue. The seat of Justice after this term of court was removed from Rawles’ Meeting house to Rodger’s Schoolhouse. The delinquent tax for 1847 was county tax. $24.37; State tax. $7.71, total $32.08. At the January term, 1848, Steven Gaster was granted a license to run a public ferry across Bayou Bartholomew, near his residence, the rates of ferriage being as follows: Wagon and team, 50 cents; carryall or cart, 37½ cents; man and horse, 10 cents, footman, 5 cents; loose stock, 3 cents, all but lead horse, which was 5 cents. These rates were to be doubled in high water. Osceola Township was annexed to White Township. The sheriff, as collector, received as taxes from all sources, $1,236.99. At the January term, 1849, the sheriff’s settlement shows that he received as taxes from all sources, $1,750.50. The delinquent tax for 1849 was $103.37.

At the April term, 1850, court ordered that one-fourth of one per cent be lived on all property assessed by the sheriff, with a $100 poll tax for county revenue. The total expenditures for the year ending April 9, 1850, aggregated $1,801.79. Court was then held at Rough and Ready, and at the July term of that year the county commissioners reported that the courthouse in Monticello would be ready for the next term of circuit court, and the October term of county court was held there. During the January term of the county court, 1850, assessors for the several townships were appointed. Viz.: Henry crook, for Marion Township; J. H. Jones for Veasey Towship; Joseph Furgeson, for Bartholomew Township; Charles C. Mathias, for Spring Hill Township, and William C. Norton for Smith Township. The total tax collected for the year ending in April, 1851, amounted to $2,236.07. Court ordered levied a tax of one-sixth of one per cent and 50 cents poll tax. July 17, 1851, the first notice appears regarding school funds. The sheriff was charged with $105, which was to be appropriated for common school purposes. The delinquent list for 1851, was State delinquent, $5.02, county delinquent, $33.67; a total of $38.69. In January, 1853, John S. Winter was appointed by the county, his salary to be appropriated by the court from time to time. Benjamin Hyatt was appointed a notary public by the county court, his commission to bear date from January 12, 1854 to January 12, 8856. In April, 2856, land was entered for a county poor-farm, and in January, 1859, the poor-farm was ordered sold.

The first probate court of which there is a record convened on Tuesday, April 13, 1859, the matter first appearing on the records as follows: "In the matter of the estate of W. G. Wells, deceased. And now on this day comes F. C. Austin, by his attorney and a manuscript of all matter appertaining to the administration of the estate of said Wells, deceased, and prays that name be made part of the records of this court. It is therefore considered by the court here, that his office, and that the same be made a matter of record." A like order was made concerning the papers relative to the manuscript in the estate of George Holloway; the administrator was allowed to keep the slaves belonging to the estate to raise a crop that year. Henry S. Hudspeth and Seaborn Greer were confirmed as, administrators for the estate of Hardaman Greer, and their bond approved. L. C. Dougherty was confirmed as administrator for the estate of C. M. Dougherty and his bond approved. John Smith presented for probate the will of Mary Wyatt, deceased: Jesse B. Morris failing to appear as one of the attesting witnesses in obedience to a subpoena, it was ordered by the court that a writ of attachment be issued, returnable on the first day of the next term of the court. This record is signed by William H. Wells, judge.


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